Last week I wrote about the importance of applying our understanding that every human being is created in the image of God very broadly and not apply it only to selected issues. This week as I reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus I have been thinking about another way that we can think wrongly about what it means to be made in the image of God. We most often refer to this concept when we see situations in which someone is not valuing a human being highly enough, but we as human beings can sometimes value ourselves too highly. The understanding that we have been made in the image of God means that each of us has high value. However, there is a tendency among human beings that dates back to the first 3 chapters of Genesis to think of ourselves as being like God in the sense that we see ourselves as being equal to God. That is not what being made in the image of God means.
The crucifixion of Jesus is one of the things that we focus on at this time of year. The death of Jesus is one of the things about our faith that is offensive. We have a bloody violent death at the center of what we believe and many do not like that. It offends people’s sense of what is dignified. Even more than that it tells us that we are not gods. We believe that Jesus had to die because we have rebelled against God and that only his death could allow God to have a relationship with the sinful people that we are.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.